The New Thai King, Maha Vajiralongkorn, Was Officially Crowned With A Public Audience

After three days of coronation rites, the new Thai King, Maha Vajiralongkorn, was officially crowned. He succeeded to the throne after the 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej

The formal coronation of the new king on Saturday involved a series of elaborate, centuries-old rituals rooted in Buddhist and Brahmanic traditions, establishing the new king’s status as a full-fledged monarch with complete regal powers.

The rituals included The Royal Purification and Anointment which mean sacred water was poured over the king, then the Royal Regalia when the new king was presented with the crown, sword and other items. During Saturday’s ceremony, the 66-year-old king was handed the 7.3kg Great Crown of Victory, which he placed on his head.

Then, in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha the king had to proclaim himself the Royal Patron of Buddhism, and lastly the assumption of the Royal Residence when he symbolically moved into the official residence with a housewarming ceremony.

The next day, on Sunday, there was the Royal Procession on Land when the king rode the Royal Palanquin encircling the city allowing people to pay homage, and the third day brought the end of the coronation ceremonies which took place today when the king granted a public audience on a balcony in the Grand Palace, later granting an audience to international diplomats.

The new king succeeded to the throne after the 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for seven decades. Even though Thailand has a constitutional monarchy, the royal family is highly revered by Thais and wields considerable power. Thailand also has strict laws, called lese majeste, which ban criticism of the monarchy. The laws have shielded the royal family from public view and scrutiny. Plus, the coronation comes at a time of political uncertainty. A general election was held on 24 March, the first since the army took control in a coup in 2014, but a new government has yet to be declared.

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